I Was Thinking About Something Else

That pretty much sums up my life nowadays. I will be doing something, walking into a room or driving, and I will go askew. Someone will inevitably ask at that same moment, "What are you doing?". Which will confuse me and I can only respond, "Yeah, well...I was thinking about something else".

(formerly A Connecticut Yankee)

Location: Connecticut, United States

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Monday, May 24, 2004

What if he is a girl?

Hey, why am I talkin' on like this?
My kid ain't even been born, yet!
I can see him when he's seventeen or so,
And startin' to go with a girl
I can give him lots of pointers, very sound
On the way to get 'round any girl
I can tell him ...
Wait a minute!
Could it be?
What the hell!
What if he is a girl?

- Soliloquy, from the musical Carousel

I have two kids. A boy and a girl. They’re both teenagers. I mention these things as a segue to today’s topic which is “one aspect of raising a daughter in today’s world”. I’m not actually going to write about either of the kids, but I want to talk about one thing that I’m doing to help my girl grow up in a man’s world. I don’t think of it that way, ‘a man’s world’, but I’m not an idiot, of course men are better off than women. The point is to pass along the idea that you don’t think about it, then through passive aggression you can change the way of thinking eventually.
At the beginning of the Viet Nam war women war correspondents also started appearing for the first time. In a survey of five of them, which was pretty much all of them, they responded the same way to the question of whether their efforts helped the cause of women’s equal rights since they had each taken on what was traditionally a man’s job, which was also dangerous, obviously because it was a war zone. They said that they didn’t think about it really, it was that this was the job they really wanted to do. You may think they didn’t make that much of an impact, but here I’m writing about their attitudes and remarks some forty years later.
As you get into movies and television, there are remarkably few role models which is so sad, but the ones that are there are terrific. You may think some of my choices odd, but remember I’m looking for role models not necessarily quality cinema. ‘Working Girl’ (Melanie Griffith + Sigourney Weaver) is outstanding. ‘Alien’ (Sigourney Weaver, again!) I particularly like this for the fact that there is never any moment in the movie when the ship’s crew treats her like a woman as opposed to someone in charge, and her authority is never questioned. ‘Poltergeist’ (Jobeth Williams) smart, funny, realistic. A point of clarification. I’m not talking about strong personalities, like Roseanne, or Oprah, but women who, and I had to use the phrase but it fits, ‘just do it’ (so sayeth Nike). They don’t draw attention to themselves but just do whatever they are inclined to do, without thinking of it in terms of gender. That is what I want for my daughter, to think outside the box and do whatever she wants. On the lower end but I think just as good, you have Tia Carrere in ‘Relic Hunter’, excellent role model. For awhile Xena was right up there too, then she started getting goofy and I thought, no, this isn’t good.
I suppose if I want to move this along I should just write one myself.


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